With a super simple method and three flavor variations, you can make the most tender, delicious Marinated Chicken Tenders in the air fryer or oven to share with the kids. One of the easiest chicken recipes for kids, ever!

marinated chicken tenders on plate.

This post is sponsored by Butcherbox.

Marinated Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are one of our very favorite cuts of chicken since they are a perfect size for little kids, and this marinated version is such a delicious option. I love that it creates chicken that’s flavorful and tender, there are easy flavor variations, and you can make it ahead of time and stash it in the fridge or make it in the moment in less than 15 minutes start to finish.

I love making this recipe with the free-range organic Butcherbox chicken, which comes right to my door in their easy subscription service—which has free shipping. You can curate your own box of cuts or let them choose for you (which is my favorite way to try new options). And they even have fully cooked meatballs and chicken strips that are ready to cook with no prep work on my part.

And don’t miss this Butcherbox deal: New users will receive their choice of either two pounds of beef-and-pork meatballs, one and one and a half pounds of chicken strips, or two pounds of beef burgers in every box for a year.

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Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to make this recipe so you know what to have on hand and ready to go.

ingredients for marinated chicken tenders on countertop.
  • Chicken Tenders: I like to use the boneless, skinless chicken tenders from Butcherbox, and I thaw them from frozen before starting the recipe.
  • Spices: Combining paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt creates a delicious mix that’s flavorful enough for adults, and not too flavorful for kids.
  • Yogurt: Adding some Greek yogurt (or regular-style yogurt) to the spices helps it coat well on the chicken and adds tenderness.
  • Variations: To make this dairy-free, you can omit the yogurt and use avocado oil. To make a lemon version, you can omit the paprika and add lemon zest, lemon juice, and a little oregano.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of how to make this chicken recipe for kids so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full amounts and timing.

how to make marinated chicken tenders in grid of 4 images.
  1. Add the spices and yogurt to a wide, shallow bowl. Stir.
  2. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
  3. Add to a storage bag and seal if you plan to let it marinate, or add it to the tray of an air fryer or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Cook until just cooked through, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F.

Serving Suggestions

Try pairing the cooked tenders with Cheesy Rice or Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, or let cool and serve with Caesar Salad. You can also add them to Pasta Salad with Chicken. Really, they’re very versatile and can go with most anything!

marinated chicken tenders in three storage bags on counter.

How to Store

To make this chicken tenderloin recipe ahead, complete the steps to marinate the chicken and store in the fridge for up to 3 days before cooking.

To store fully cooked leftover chicken, let cool fully, then add to an airtight storage container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Best Tips for Success

  • Trim the fat off the chicken tenders, if needed, using kitchen scissors.
  • Omit the salt, if desired, if making this chicken tenders recipe for a baby.
  • Cut into thin pieces to serve or serve whole.
  • Serve with any dipping sauces your family enjoys.
  • To make this recipe with chicken breast, thinly slice into strips.

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marinated chicken tenders on plate.

Easy Marinated Chicken Tenders

With a super simple method and three flavor variations, you can make the most tender, delicious Marinated Chicken Tenders in the air fryer or oven to share with the kids. One of the easiest chicken recipes for kids, ever!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dinner
Calories 144kcal
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders (trimmed of fat if needed)
  • ¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
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Instructions

  • Thaw your chicken, if starting from frozen.
  • Add the yogurt and spices to a wide, shallow bowl.
  • Add the chicken. Stir to coat well.
  • To marinate, add to a storage bag or container and seal, then store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before cooking. (You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw before proceeding with the recipe.)
  • To cook, add to a greased air fryer tray or a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Try not to overlap the chicken to ensure that it cooks evenly.
  • Air-fry or bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken registers 165 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer. Serve warm, whole or sliced.

Notes

    • To make this chicken ahead, complete the steps to marinate the chicken and store in the fridge for up to 3 days before cooking.
      To store fully cooked leftover chicken, let cool fully, then add to an airtight storage container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
    • Trim the fat off the chicken tenders, if needed, using kitchen scissors.
    • Omit the salt, if desired, if making for a baby.
    • Cut into thin pieces to serve or serve whole.
    • Dairy-free: Sub avocado oil for the yogurt. Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to crisp the edges.
    • Lemon: Omit the paprika and brown sugar. Add 1 teaspoon oregano and the juice and zest of half of a lemon.

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 428mg, Potassium: 457mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 281IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These were such a big hit in our house! The recipe was so simple and resulted in delicious juicy chicken. Adult and toddler approved!

  2. I was excited to try this, but used almond milk yogurt instead of whole milk to avoid dairy. When I checked the tenders in the oven, they were still very yogurty so I kept them in longer but then they got too dry. Do you think the downfall was the almond milk yogurt?

    1. Yes, I would assume that was due to the almond milk. There is a dairy-free version of the recipe in the Notes that is tested that works well for next time.

      1. Thank you so much for replying! For the dairy free option, would I mix in the cornstarch with the avocado oil?

  3. 5 stars
    We made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! The perfect weeknight dinner. I am currently breastfeeding and dairy free due to a suspected milk protein allergy for my baby, so I substituted the yogurt with avocado oil as suggested, and it turned out moist and delicious! Will definitely make this again.

  4. 5 stars
    The chicken was super tender! It had a little more paprika flavor than I like so I’ll definitely use less next time but that’s just personal preference. Made them with some steamed rice and will definitely enjoy the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!